Short Story Sunday – Protected
Monday morning came quickly. Nervous was an understatement as I prepared my classroom for a group of 1st grade students. I did a lot of planning over the weekend. I mean if this was going to be my life I should make it work, right? First grade should be easy to teach and the school gave me a set of lesson plans to follow. I write in large letters across the blackboard, Welcome to 1st grade. I am your teacher, Ms. Rebecca Roman.
Little ones start filing into class. Some look excited and others have tear stained cheeks and clinging to their parents hands. Some of the parents seem just as nervous. I guess it is nerve racking to have a new face in the school. I tell my story; I’m Rebecca Roman and just moved here from Georgia. I also added I was a new teacher and this was my very first class. That actually put most parents at ease. It seemed to make me more of a real person in their eyes versus a stranger teaching their kids.
Just as I was about to shut the classroom door a little curly hair blond girl rushes to the door. “Wait, I’m in first grade too,” she squealed as she ran to my door. I see a tall man rushing behind her. Dean. “Sorry Ms. Roman,” Dean offered “We had a mini melt down this morning over which pink outfit to wear.” The little girl extended her hand, “I am Molly, my favorite color is pink, I like to read and I want to be a princess when I grow up,” Molly stated very seriously. I smiled, “Ok Princess Molly, please find a seat,” I say as I turn my attention to Dean. “Please have her to school on time from now on,” I say curtly then politely shut the door in his face.
The school day went by fast. I started the morning with my group of students sitting on the reading rug. We each took turns stating our name, what we did over the summer, and what our favorite subject was. I started and I felt bad that my summer story was a blatant lie. “My name is Ms. Rebecca Roman. I am from Georgia and moved here several weeks ago. This is my first teaching job and my favorite subject is history.” Each student was excited to say what they did over the summer. Molly was last. “I am Molly. I spent the summer helping my Uncle Dean remodel a house. I also took ballet classes. And I don’t have a favorite subject,” she stated matter of fact.
The day went by fast and surprisingly I enjoyed it. This teaching thing was not so bad. My students moved from each activity I planned with ease and there was not any breakdowns that I half expected. Before I knew it, parents started to arrive to pick up their children. I peeked at the clock and realized it was 3:15. Wow the day did go by fast.
“We Ms. Roman, how was your first day as a teacher?” Dean asked when he arrived to get Molly. “Perfect,” I say curtly and walk away as I remember the call telling me to stay away from my neighbors. It would be nice to have a friend but I do not want to put anyone else in danger.
After the last student leaves I tidy my classroom and get it ready for tomorrow. My mind wanders back to that night. The night that changed the course of my life. Damon’s lifeless face flashed before my eyes. It made my stomach roll. I just barely made it to the garbage can beside my desk.
I hope you are enjoying this short story. Next week I will start to unravel what Rebecca/Charlie witnessed and how she ended up in witness protection. Who knows, maybe this will be my next novel! XOXO!!!
Check out this book series I am reading about Winter, an FBI agent with a traumatic past.